I am The Ninja.
Hi, nice to meet you!
One of my biggest inspirations is my sister, Maria. She’s a real ninja housewife.
Completely on her own she figured out how to make money online through freelance writing. It’s been what I’ve always wanted to do. I tried it. Made some money. Discovered it was a lot harder than I thought. Quit.
But Maria kept going. It afforded her the life she always wanted. As mother a six, she quit her job after #2 was born and has been a stay-at-home mom ever since. Focused on the kids during the day (all of them homeschooled by her), and writing once they’re in bed at night.
Young Bride and Mama
I got married when I was in my final year of university at the age of 20, just six months after we got engaged. I wouldn’t describe it as whirlwind of any kind… More like a bullet train that shot out the station and gained momentum exponentially to the point where there was really no way to stop it, or get off.
Looking back it was kinda crazy.
I don’t think I was too young, but if any of my kids came to me and said they wanted to get married at 20, I would definitely ask them to wait a few years…
Anyway, I gave birth to my first baby boy a year later. I remember it was two weeks after I graduated. I was huge at the convocation ceremony.
I got a job at a national radio station called Fly FM in Malaysia, working as a news presenter. I would later become the producer of the morning show.
My second baby boy was born in 2012. His name is Sulaiman.
So at the age of 25, I found myself to be a working mom of two tiny munchkins.
I loved my job and I loved my kids.
In fact, my very first blog was dedicated to my job and my kids! I called it Work & Babies. I’ve since moved all my past posts here and you can find them in the Archives section.
Abuse & Neglect
Work and babies. But no husband.
I’m a little hesitant to call him abusive. Although in retrospect that’s really what he was. Both emotionally and occasionally physically.
He’s seven years older than me. I think that’s a big part of why my parents allowed me to get married at such a young age. Because I wasn’t marrying some 20 year old kid, he was a 27 year old man.
But… I don’t know.
He didn’t care to stay home. Spent all his nights out with friends. Hanging out til 3am. And on weekends… He’s be out with his friends too. Day trips, weekends away, whole weeks away. By definition I was a single working mom. Ayub and I did everything together.
He didn’t make much money, but whatever money he made he loved to spend. On himself. Toys and gadgets and his car. I wasn’t paid much either at that time. And my salary went entirely to paying for our rent, Ayub’s daycare, the groceries and the bills.
Yet, he still never seemed to have enough money. And I found myself constantly loaning/giving him my savings.
One day I was searching for spare cash (a considerable sum) that I had hidden in one of my old handbags in the closet. It was gone. When I asked him about it he admitted he had taken it. But that he would pay me back.
That’s the thing. He always promised to pay me back.
And I thought, what kind of a wife am I if I’m not willing to help my husband out with a little bit of cash when he needs it? What’s the point of having money and saving it when he needs it now?
So he ended up clearing my account.
Quite literally, one day, took my ATM card and emptied my account.
But I stayed with him. Because what kind of a wife am I if I leave my husband because of money? Superficial things right?
I stayed because I thought money was our only problem, and that love would be enough.
While I was pregnant with Sulaiman, he quit his job. Without telling me. He was unemployed with no savings. And we were expecting baby #2.
I thought, it’s ok. At least now he’ll spend more time with Ayub, who honestly rarely saw him. That didn’t happen.
Wow, this is really painful to write.
What hurts most is not that he cleared my life savings or that he hit me. It was that he took me completely for granted. He made me feel worthless. I would beg him to come home and eat dinner with me at least once a week, before going out with his friends. And still, he couldn’t do that.
I had my heart broken so many times during that relationship that I eventually stopped feeling.
I left my job at Fly FM when I was given an awesome offer by the company I work at now as a writer.
Then in December 2013 I asked for a divorce. He refused. I told my mom. She packed his bag and left it by the door then waited for him to come home so she could ask him to leave.
Becoming A Single Mom
Divorce. Not something I want to talk about right now. But it happened, finally.
I was officially a single working mom. This was 2014. The most defining year of my life.
I started my own business. I went through a terrible divorce; it was so bad it involved police protection. I gave him the rented house I’d been paying for. As well as my car. I bought a condo and moved in with my babies.
It was all just so overwhelming. So I quit my job. A job that I loved. And focused on my kids.
I enrolled them in a new kindergarten/day care. They cried every morning. Sulaiman had nightmares every night. It was his first time being away from home. Previously he would spend his days at my parents’ house.
I started cooking again. Something I had stopped because he had never come home for dinner. I started cleaning again. Something I had stopped because we had moved in with my parents and their housekeeper took care of everything.
But most importantly, I started being a mother again. Something I’m ashamed I had stopped because I got so caught up in other things.
A guy from work. We started dating. He loved the kids. A month later he proposed. Five months from the first time we started seeing each other, we got married. Now that was a whirlwind.
Things were looking up. I was happy. The kids were happy. With the hubby in the picture, we felt like a complete family.
On top of that, the ex-husband and I were finally getting along. Mutual love and respect. Everything was working out.
My former boss asked me to come back to the company. I jumped at the opportunity. He’s the best boss in the world. Words cannot express…
The hubby, the kids and I. A family. We went to Legoland for a holiday. Ayub rode a rollercoaster for the first time. Sulaiman became best friends with his new grandmother.
Everything was coming together. Everything was just perfect.
Two days after we came back from our Legoland holiday I received a phone call from my dad. He was sobbing. Through his tears I realized someone had passed away. It was my sister. Maria.
She had died following complications after childbirth.
Maria was a huge advocate for natural birth. She had two horrible birthing experiences with her first two babies where doctors induced labor, broke her bag, then left her no choice but to have a c-section.
After that she educated herself on home birthing. Baby #3, #4, and #5 were all delivered at home. Drug-free and stress-free. Healthy and happy.
But something went wrong with #6. Or maybe it was just her time.
She didn’t like the formal education system. She believed that every child is unique in their style of learning and shouldn’t have to be judged or compared to their peers. She homeschooled her kids. And made learning fun. Instead of reading about things in a text book, she’d bring them out and show them.
And through it all, she wrote about it. She wrote about a lot of things. On many subjects that she enjoyed. She wrote about gentle birthing and homeschooling.
I miss her so much. And I think about her every day. Everything reminds me of her.
The reason I’m adding her to this story is because it was only after her death that I truly understood everything she had accomplished in her life.
I started receiving messages from all over the world from people she had helped, either directly or indirectly. People offering their help, asking how to help, just plain and simple wanting to help.
There were women who had learned about home birthing from Maria (she had taught a class online and offline.) For some, Maria had been there during the birth of their child. Then there were others who knew her only as the writer, had read her work and wanted to help the family.
Why I’m Here, Right Now, Writing This
My sister brought so much goodness to the world. She touched so many lives. She never cared about money, as long as there was enough to live comfortably and care for her kids. She wasn’t financially rich from her work, but she was rich with something else. She was fulfilled. I don’t quite know how to explain what’s in my heart.
I believe that the day of our deaths are pre-destined. But the way we die depends on how we choose to live.
Maria went against the norms. She faced so many hurdles. But she stood her ground and lived life on her own terms. She didn’t care for worldly possessions. She didn’t care for corporate life and promotions and the prospect of more money. She sought happiness. And when she found it, she not only embraced it, but spread it.
After seeing that much love from all corners of the world for one person… Something inside me changed. An understanding of happiness. An understanding of purpose. Of having a message and sharing it. Of helping others to the point where they give back to your ten-fold without you even asking. Maria achieved these things. And I never saw it until she was gone.
I love her so much. And I miss her.
The point I’m trying to make is that the outpouring of love for Maria made me realize two things:
- In my 28 years, I’ve done nothing to help others the way Maria did.
- I’m not living the life I want.
I want to be at home with my kids. I’m not the homeschooling type. And I’m not the home birthing type. But I want to be at home with my kids.
And I want to write about the things I love. If they help anyone in any way, that will be enough. And if it makes enough money to support my life at home with my babies, that will be enough.
This “Meet the Ninja” section is much longer than I anticipated. Apologies for that. Let’s move on to cute things!